Recession-Proof Your Career
(Wall Street Journal) — While working at the Ford Design Center in Dearborn, Mich., Edgar Camez became a specialist in designing engine mounts for cars. But the 37-year-old engineer wanted to do something different after working 11 years, and he felt his small niche limited his career options. So he gradually eased his way into the hybrid-technology unit at Ford Motor, pursuing in-house training as well as a master’s degree in automotive engineering. His efforts led to a new job as senior program manager of hybrid electric vehicles for Warrenville, Ill.-based Navistar.
“It’s a much smaller company, so I do a bit of everything,” says Mr. Camez, who is currently pursuing a master’s in business administration at the University of Michigan. When times are good, companies tend to hire specialists, says Tim Gardner, associate professor of management at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Specialists “perform optimally within their narrow range of expertise and are good bets when the economy is doing well,” he says.